The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
Unconventionally, you’re supposed to view the iCockpit digital instruments (the speedo, rev counter etc.) by looking over, rather than through, the steering wheel – something Peugeot has tried to make easier by shrinking the steering wheel to the size of a dinner plate. And, if you happen to be long in the body, or if you sit close to the steering wheel with the seat jacked up, you’ll probably think the whole arrangement is great.
Many will find that the steering wheel completely blocks their view of the instruments, though, and will have to resort to moving the wheel or seat to an uncomfortable position just so they know what speed they’re doing. We’d strongly advise taking a test drive before buying a 208 for this reason. Another big gripe is the lack of physical buttons; you have to use the central touchscreen just to adjust the interior temperature, which is a bit of a faff and also more distracting than it need be.
Better news is that the seats are comfortable, and adjustable lumbar support is available as an option on all but the entry-level trim; it's rather an expensive option, though, coming as part of a pack that also includes leather upholstery.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
Seeing out of the 208 could be easier. For a start, the thickness and angle of its windscreen pillars obscure more of what you can see through corners more than those of, say, a Volkswagen Polo. There are decent-sized door mirrors, but the rear pillars and tapering roofline reduce the amount you can see over your shoulders.
Still, there is salvation in the form of standard rear parking sensors on all models. GT Line trim levels and above add front parking sensors and a rear-view camera, as well as bright LED headlights with Smart Beam Assist, which can automatically shape the car’s main beam to avoid dazzling other road users without the need to use dipped beam.
Sat nav and infotainment
Entry-level Active models get a 7.0in touchscreen with shortcut buttons on both sides of the screen. A bigger, 10.0in touchscreen with sat nav is available as an option from Allure trim (it’s standard only on GT trim, which is exclusive to the e-208).
Neither screen is as high definition as the equivalent in a Polo or Seat Ibiza, and Peugeot's operating system isn't as intuitive to use, either. At least Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard so you can effectively bypass the Peugeot software. Go for Allure trim or above and you'll also get a wireless phone charging pad.
The 208’s interior is one of the most strikingly designed in the small car class – even including premium models, such as the Audi A1. The use of high-end materials and soft-touch surfaces make it feel upmarket, too, and if you go for GT Line trim you'll get some fancy ambient interior lighting.
It isn’t all just show, either; the build quality largely compliments the style, although the Mini feels even more sturdily screwed together.
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